|Architect(s)||Leon Battista Alberti|
|Funded by||Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai|
The Rucellai Sepulchre is a small funerary chapel built inside the Rucellai Chapel of the church of San Pancrazio, Florence. It was commissioned by Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai and built to designs by Leon Battista Alberti in imitation or emulation of the Holy Sepulchre in the Anastasis in Jerusalem. It contains the tombs of Giovanni Rucellai and members of his family.
The Rucellai sepulchre is known by various names, including Sacellum of the Holy Sepulchre, Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, Italian: Tempietto del Santo Sepolcro, Sacello del Santo Sepolcro and Tempietto Rucellai.
Alberti's work on the Rucellai Chapel and on the sepulchre within it probably began in about 1458; the origins of the chapel date to 1417, when the walls of the nave of San Pancrazio were built. According to the inscription above the door, the Sepulchre was completed in 1467.
The sepulchre has two inscriptions: one, on a square panel above the door, reads:
|PAVLI ‧F‧ VT INDE SALVTEM SVAM|
|PRECARETVR VNDE OMNIVM CVM|
|CHRISTO FACTA EST RESVRECTIO|
|ADĪSTAR HIEROSOLIMITANI SEPVL|
|CHRI FACIVNDVM CVRAVIT|
meaning approximately "Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, in order that his salvation might be prayed for from where, through Christ, the resurrection of all was achieved, had this temple built in the shape of the tomb in Jerusalem [in] 1467".
The other inscription runs round the top of the building and reads:
YHESVM QVERITIS NAZARENVM CRVCIFIXVM SURREXIT NON EST HIC ECCE LOCVS VBI POSVERVNT EVM
or approximately "you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified; he rose, he is not here; this is the place where they put him".
The Rucellai Chapel was closed for many years for restoration. Since 16 February 2013 it has been re-opened to the public. Access is through the Marino Marini Museum, which occupies the deconsecrated part of the church of San Pancrazio.
- Ferruccio Canali (2006) Firenze: i luoghi di Leon Battista Alberti (in Italian). Comune di Firenze, Ufficio Centro Storico, Patrimonio Mondiale UNESCO. Accessed May 2013.
- Rab Hatfield (2004) "The Funding of the Façade of Santa Maria Novella". Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes London: The Warburg Institute. 67:81–128. (subscription required)
- The Rucellai Chapel and the Sacellum of the Holy Sepulchre by Leon Battista Alberti re-opened to the public. Museo Marino Marini, 18 February 2013. Accessed May 2013.